Dot Jones is an American actor, best known for starring in the musical comedy–drama series ‘Glee.’ She also happens to be a retired athlete who has played shot put, track, and arm wrestling. Dot was born and raised in California, where she began her career as an athlete. She became a champion weightlifter while still in high school. She eventually became an arm wrestler and ended up winning 15 arm wrestling world championships throughout her career. She was not initially interested in acting. However, she auditioned for the role of a female bodybuilder on the 1992 show titled ‘Knights and Warriors.’ She started liking being onscreen and soon appeared in series such as ‘Married... with Children,’ ‘In the House,’ ‘Boston Common,’ and ‘Roseanne.’ After playing a bigger role in ‘Lizzie McGuire’ in 2001, she got her acting breakthrough when she was cast as a high-school coach in the musical comedy–drama series ‘Glee.’ She also made her film debut in 1998, playing ‘Miss Meat’ in the film ‘Patch Adams.’ In the more recent years, she has appeared in films such as ‘Greener Grass’ and series such as ‘American Horror Story: Cult.’
Childhood & Early Career
Dot Jones was born Dorothy-Marie Jones, on January 4, 1964, in Turlock, California. She was the youngest child in a family of six children. She had three brothers and two sisters.
She began working out when she was a kid. She did heavy weightlifting because it somehow helped soothe her “sore body.” By the time she was in eighth grade, she was well over 6 feet in height. While still in middle school, she began participating in various track competitions.
She was inclined toward sports and eventually began weightlifting when she attended the ‘Hilmar High School.’ During her high-school years, she turned into a champion weightlifter and was named the ‘Female Athlete of the Year’ for her school.
When she got bored of weightlifting, she decided to venture into arm wrestling. In the next few years, she became a world champion in arm wrestling. She won her first arm wrestling world championship at the age of 19. To date, she has won six national and 15 international championships.
Following her graduation from ‘Hilmar High School,’ she continued her stint as an athlete. She enrolled at the ‘Modesto Junior College’ and the ‘California State University, Fresno.’ She was a good track player and earned a scholarship from college, which helped her pay for her entire college education.
She eventually moved on to softball, shot put, and powerlifting at college and university levels. She gained marked fame in shot put, a game in which she won the ‘All-America’ honors, both at junior college and university levels. She also won the state championship in shot put in 1983 and 1984.
She also qualified for the national ‘Olympic’ trials in 1988 and ended up at the sixth position.
Following her college graduation, she worked as a probation counselor at the ‘Fresno County Juvenile Hall.’ She continued her association with sports, until she began working in films.
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Dot had never aspired to become an actor all through her life. She got offers to appear in the professional wrestling arena, but she rejected them, saying she thought they were too fake. She had participated in a bodybuilding competition, where she was spotted by Shirley Eson, who worked for the show ‘American Gladiators.’
She urged Dot to audition for the new competition show ‘Knights and Warriors.’ Dot agreed and was cast as ‘Lady Battleaxe,’ one of the show’s few female contestants. Dot appeared in a few episodes of the show and became attracted to the prospect of working in front of the camera. The pay was also good. Thus, she began auditioning for more TV and film roles.
In 1994, she was seen playing a guest role as an unnamed muscular woman in an episode of the series ‘Full House,’ titled ‘I’ve Got a Secret.’ The same year, she appeared in another single-episode-long role in the series titled ‘Married... with Children.’
Although she played a guest role in ‘Married... with Children’ in 1994, she reprised her role in four more episodes of the series, in 1994.
Over the next few years, Dot played small/guest roles in single episodes of many series, such as ‘Boston Common,’ ‘Roseanne,’ ‘Tracey Takes On...,’ ‘Cybill,’ and ‘Chicago Hope.’
In the meantime, she made her film debut in 1998, with the semi-biographical film ‘Patch Adams,’ playing ‘Miss Meat.’ Although the film was a critical failure, it turned out to be a huge box-office success.
In 1999, she played a small role in the vigilante action thriller ‘The Boondock Saints.’ The film was a critical and commercial failure, but despite that, it recovered its costs through DVD sales, due to positive word-of-mouth publicity. It is now hailed as a cult classic.
In the early 2000s, she continued with her TV career, appearing in five episodes of ‘Lizzie McGuire,’ playing ‘Coach Kelly.’ She appeared in more guest/small roles in series such as ‘She Spies,’ ‘The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,’ and ‘Cougar Town.’
She had a huge acting breakthrough in 2010, when she appeared in the supporting role of a high-school coach named ‘Sheldon Beiste’ in the musical comedy–drama series ‘Glee.’
She first appeared in the series in its second season and played a recurring role till the fifth season. She was a main cast member in the sixth season and received praises for her role. She was nominated for a ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ and a ‘Screen Actors Guild Award’ for her performance.
In the more recent years, she has appeared in guest roles in series such as ‘Jane the Virgin,’ ‘2 Broke Girls,’ and ‘Clipped.’ She has also been seen in ‘Modern Family’ and ‘American Horror Story: Cult.’
In addition, she has also starred in films such as ‘Bad Teacher’ and ‘Greener Grass.’
Family & Personal Life
Owing to her history as an athlete, Dot Jones has suffered from many health issues from time to time. She underwent a knee replacement surgery in August 2013.
She is openly lesbian and has dated her girlfriend, Bridgett Casteen, for 3 years. The couple got engaged on October 4, 2013, and got married on December 21, 2013.